20.10.2014, 10:01

UNIDO is ready to assist Kyrgyzstan in the development of small hydropower

UNIDO is ready to assist Kyrgyzstan in the development of small hydropower

 United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a UN specialized agency, whose efforts are focused on the poverty reduction by promoting industrial development. UNIDO assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their fight against marginalization in today's globalized world. It mobilizes knowledge, skills, information and technology to promote productive employment, a competitive economy and environmental sustainability. UNIDO Industrial Officer Rana Pratap Singh, who visited Kyrgyzstan last week, told the agency "Kabar" about plans on cooperation with Kyrgyzstan in the near future.

- Tell us about the purpose of your visit to Kyrgyzstan, and what work is conducted by UNIDO in the country?

- I came to your country to discuss cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and UNIDO. UNIDO’s specialization is industrial development. The organization is interested in developing cooperation with Kyrgyzstan and especially in promoting the initiative on inclusive and sustainable industrial development. One important aspect in the development of industry in the Kyrgyz Republic is the development of energy, including small hydropower.

Since its establishment of UNIDO Desk in Kyrgyzstan we have been involved in a number of projects. One of the first projects is a project on reliable power supply of first aid stations (FAPs) in the rural area. The purpose of this project was to provide electricity to first aid stations using photovoltaic power plants in 12 villages in all the regions of Kyrgyzstan. This project was successfully implemented and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic highly appreciated our work. In addition, we have participated in projects in the agribusiness sector, particularly in the fruit and vegetable processing. An important project of UNIDO for Kyrgyzstan was to develop a feasibility study for the establishment of trade and logistics platform for the processing of fruits and vegetables for export to Russia and Kazakhstan. Also we have very serious and interesting plans for cooperation in the field of trade capacity building. We can cooperate in the field of small-scale hydropower. We would like to replicate our experience in the use of solar energy in the field of small-scale hydropower development. Our experience is successfully replicated, andsome international organizations have using our methodology. There are plans to increase the number of FAPs that would be supplied by solar energy.

- Tell us about your plans for the organization in the development of small-scale power in Kyrgyzstan?

- In the process of Kyrgyzstan’s development UNIDO would like to assist in developing of small hydropower. In particular, we would like to implement a pilot project that would have served as a basis for the development of small hydropower in the country. Our organization can assist in creating the conditions for construction of many small hydro power plants, drafting of the roadmap, UNIDO experience and expertise could be used for the interest of small-scale power development in Kyrgyzstan more efficiently.

When you develop a small hydropower plants there are a lot of positive aspects: electricity, light and heat, uninterruptable operation of educational and medical institutions, industries in rural areas, population's access to cheap energy, attracting investment and technology in the energy sector, awareness about modern technology in the field of renewable energy, etc. Moreover, the production of clean energy will prevent cutting of trees, furnace heating, and thus will not cause damage to the environment.

Each year, UNIDO selects 2-3 priority countries among the developing countries or countries with economies in transition for projects in the field of small-scale power. At the moment, we consider Kyrgyzstan to be one of the priority countries for UNIDO projects in 2015 in the field of small-scale power. The second main objective of cooperation may be the following: Kyrgyzstan now is in focus of attention of many organizations, namely, in area of development of small hydropower. UNIDO could assist in creating the conditions for such cooperation, including with the financial institutions, which are interested in cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of small-scale power. Of course, this requires a lot of attention paid to human resource potential, drafting of legal documents to ensurearrival of the donorson one hand, and on the other hand - access of local organizations to these resources.

We plan in the framework of this project a regional seminar on small-scale hydropower, that will bring together representatives of the Central Asian region in order to raise awareness and strengthen cooperation, to develop small-scale power in the region. We also intend to carry out a demonstration project on developing SHPS with a capacity of 1-2 MW.

- What are the possibilities of cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and UNIDO?

- We believe that the Global Environment Facility has a very good potential and we are very much interested in cooperation both with the GEF and Kyrgyzstan in the implementation of projects under the sixth cycle. GEF for Kyrgyzstan at the sixth cycle is providing $ 6.5 million for projects related to land degradation, biodiversity and climate change. We hope that Kyrgyzstan is also interested in cooperation with UNIDO in developing of project on small hydropower within the GEF 6 cycle.

In April of this year, during mission to Kyrgyzstan Mr. Li Yong, UNIDO Director General, met with the entire leadership of Kyrgyzstan. During these meetings he discussed the cooperation of UNIDO and promotion of the initiatives on inclusive and sustainable industrial development. As you know, industrial development needs energy. Our organization is set up to assist in the development of energy sources, and it would be very important if we could also cooperate within the GEF 6 cycle. We hope that the proposal would be appreciated, and that our cooperation with Kyrgyzstan, including the area of small hydropower, will develop fruitfully. Within the GEF 6 cycle UNIDO is interested to developa small hydroelectric power station and at the same time to assist in drafting a road map for the development of small-scale power in Kyrgyzstan. This experience can be used in other countries of the region. Production of energy could be used for the development of industry. With the development of the industry more jobs could be created and thereby reducing poverty. That's the goal we have. Development of small-scale power will significantly reduce electricity shortages in the future.

- We know that your organization is also working on poverty reduction; can you tell us more about this work?

- Poverty reduction through productive growth is an area of UNIDO mandate. Creation of small hydropower plants itself will be working to reduce poverty by creating jobs in the energy sector. In addition to direct job creation in the energy sector, it also gives you the opportunity to create and develop industrial production. And it also helps to reduce poverty. In addition, I can say that we are helping to create a mini-production in rural agribusiness. An important project of UNIDO in Kyrgyzstan was the development of a feasibility study for the trade and logistics platform for export of vegetables and fruits. Trade and logistics platform will purchase and export vegetables and fruits; its activities should have a positive impact on the growth of agricultural production. The processing of fruits and vegetables will increase the added value and thus, people will start to earn more, and that also reduces poverty.

UNIDO is also ready to assist and strengthen the trade capacity of Kyrgyzstan, which can significantly impact export growth.